Sister Mary Dennis Donovan, CSJ, 98, died Monday, January 20, 2014, at the Motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Joseph in the 83rd year of her religious life. Sister Mary Dennis, daughter of the late Matthew and Clara Marie Oskowski Donovan, entered the Congregation from St. Titus Parish, Aliquippa, PA.
Sister ministered as a teacher and principal in the Pittsburgh, Greensburg, and Altoona-Johnstown Dioceses for more than thirty years. Sr. Mary Dennis served as principal at St. James School, Sewickley from 1952-58 and St. Joseph High School, Natrona from 1961-68.
From 1982-87 Sister ministered as principal of La Purissima School in Lompoc, CA. While in CA she also served as Director of Oasis (Older Adult Services and Information System) an outreach of Catholic Charities. Sister was Diocesan Director of Human Relations Education at the Quigley Center, Pittsburgh from 1972-77 and co-author of the textbook, The Christian Citizen – His Challenge, 1948, and revised edition in 1955.
She was a frequent speaker or panelist at national education conventions and a contributor in workshops on Peace & Justice. She was also a member of an interfaith group in Pittsburgh. Sister was one of the founding members of Network, a social justice lobby organization.
Before her retirement in 1999, Sister served as an Education Assistant in the Adult Literacy Program at Penn State, Beaver. After more than 65 years of active ministry, she came to the Motherhouse and continued to offer her services as a volunteer in the Development Office.
Sister was an avid reader throughout her life and loved to engage in thought-provoking discussions.
Sister Mary Dennis is survived by her sister, Jo Sweeney, formerly of Sewickley; nieces and nephews, grand nieces and grand nephews, and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Baden.
Friends will be received Wednesday, January 22, from 1:00-8:00 p.m. and Thursday, January 23, from 11:00 a.m.-2:30p.m. at the Motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Joseph. Mass of Christian Burial will be offered Thursday, at 3:00 p.m. Burial will follow in the Sisters’ Cemetery on the Motherhouse grounds.
Donations in the name of Sister Mary Dennis may be sent to the Sisters of St. Joseph Memorial Fund, St. Joseph Convent, 1020 State Street, Baden, PA 15005